SCUBA DIVING KOH CHANG
Koh Chang is not as popular as other dive sites in Thailand. But it continues to bring in dive enthusiasts from all over the world due to its accessibility from Bangkok. It is more than just a popular dive site, though. It is also an island that is rich in culture with quiet fishing villages scattered around the island. It is undeniable that majority of tourists who come here do so for the diving.
KOH CHANG DIVING
If you are interested about diving, or want to learn, Koh Chang is one of the best dive destinations in Thailand. In fact, this island features a lively scuba scene with a rich selection of dive tour operators to choose from.
The quality of the diving experience you can expect in Koh Chang is superb. The impressive visibility is to be expected almost all year round, which isn’t something that can be said for other dive sites in Thailand. There is lack of intensive marine conservation effort on the island but there are regular beach combs and scuba clean-ups being initiated.
You can enjoy a rich diversity in marine life during your dive, too. Marine life sightings during your dive could include dolphins, eagle rays, green turtles, seahorses, reef sharks, and whale sharks.
There is also a substantial amount of good wreck diving sites in Koh Chang. Some advanced divers seek out this type of dive sites, so it is a good option for those in search of a unique type of dive experience
BEST DIVE SITES
Hin Luk Bat
This dive is accessible via boat within 30 minutes from Koh Chang’s Bangbao Pier. The convenience of the location is part of the reason why it is a popular dive site. In this site, you can find pinnacles that drop down to 20 meters below the sea surface. You can spend an hour for each dive to explore pinnacles at varying depths. Some of the notable fish species you will encounter include barracudas, angel fishes, and butterfly fishes.
Do you fancy spotting reef sharks during your dive? You must head to Koh Wai during your dive explorations in Koh Chang. You can find most of them resting on the seabed at this site. It is also a pretty calm dive site that is suited for beginners and snorkelers.
This dive site is about 2 kilometers from Hin Luk Bat but is sought after by dive enthusiasts for its rock pinnacles and Staghorn corals. There is also a rich diversity of small reef fishes that is considered the main attraction in this dive site.
This gently sloping reef is filled with gardens of staghorn coral and lively reef fish. You can even find the corals at 5 meters from the water surface. If shallow dive is what you prefer, this dive site is definitely a great choice for that.
If you want to experience a diversity of diving and snorkeling on your trip, Koh Rang is a must-add to your dive trip. You can find small islands and rock pinnacles at this dive site. The average depth of each dive is anywhere from 10 to 15 meters; hence, it is mostly a shallow dive. It is therefore a notable choice for beginners.
Wreck of the Thonburi
In 1941, the Thonburi sunk to the ocean floor at the southeastern tip of Koh Chang. Today, this sunken ship is a famous destination for dive enthusiasts who travel to Koh Chang. The shipwreck has transformed into an artificial reef. The only downside is that visibility is extremely challenging at this site because of the amount of silt. For this reason, most dive tour companies do not run trips on the area.
Wreck of the Chang
The HTMS Chang was sunk by the Thai Navy in 2012. Since then, this shipwreck has created an artificial reef underwater. The shipwreck offers a dive depth of 30 meters but you can reach the captain’s cabin within 12 meters of your dive. The shipwreck is one of the largest in Thailand at 100 meters long. There is also rich diversity in marine life that includes groupers, squids, octopuses, and barracudas, to name a few.
BEST TIME TO DIVE
There are dive trips in Koh Chang throughout the year. But the optimal times for diving would be from November to May. This is considered the diving season in Koh Chang with pretty good visibility.
November is the best in terms of visibility as it marks the end of the rainy season and visibility can reach down up to 25 meters.
HOW TO GET TO KOH CHANG
Book a flight to the nearest airport from Koh Chang – Trat Airport. From the airport, it is approximately 30 minutes of drive to get to the ferries that will depart for the island of Koh Chang. You can book domestic flights from Bangkok, which have flights to Trat Airport daily.
The public bus is a great option for those who want to travel to Koh Chang by land. The total travel time from Bangkok is around 7 hours, but this is one of the cheapest ways to get to the island.
HIGHLIGHTS OF KOH CHANG
Koh Chang might be popular for its diving but that is not the sole reason why tourists who visit come to love this island. The island is noted for its bohemian and laid back vibes, which bodes well with the fact that there are plenty of gorgeous beaches that are lined with palm trees. It is your quintessential tropical getaway as there is a rich variety of natural beauty to be found and enjoyed.
Aside from the gorgeous beaches, there are many fun-filled activities that you can enjoy in Koh Chang. There are plenty of good hiking and wildlife spotting options on the island. But if you want to keep your activities on the water, kayaking and sailing are among the most popular activities.
If you want to experience the party vibe, head to Lonely Beach. There is something for everyone to enjoy here, especially for the party-going crowd that wants booze-fueled atmosphere. But if you are traveling with your family, you might be seeking a more family-friendly destination and you’ll find that at the White Sand Beach.
There are two islands in Thailand named Koh Chang – but for this guide, it refers to the larger one located along the northeastern coast of Thailand (located close to Cambodia). The name Koh Chang literally translates to Elephant Island.
Therefore, it is not uncommon to find elephants here although they are not native to the island. The name can also be attributed to the shape of the headland.
The island of Koh Chang is part of an archipelago consisting of 51 islands. The land area of the island measures at 30 kilometers long and 14 kilometers wide. Even though it is not as vibrant as other islands in Thailand as far as tourism are concerned, that is not to say that it is underdeveloped.
It is one of the hidden gems of Thailand that those who were daring enough to visit are rewarded for.
The island is divided into 14 major areas that you can choose from as base during your trip. Each location will have something unique to offer, whether you are seeking an idyllic or adventurous holiday.
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